Humanities &
Social Inquiry

The study of us

Humanities is the study of human society and culture. It’s concerned with understanding who we are, how we got here, and how our world might be changed. This broad area of study is one of the most flexible, allowing you to personalise your degree as you progress.

From environmental humanities, indigenous studies to politics, a degree in Humanities and Social Inquiry provides the foundation for a purpose-filled career driving change that matters. 

Belong to one of the best

UOW offers a broad range of majors in the humanities, allowing you to tailor your degree to your interests.

  • Our Bachelor of Arts is a flexible degree. Take a range of subjects in first year, before selecting your major in second year, in legal studies, history, politics or philosophy. Choices in literature and languages are also available. You can further diversify your degree by adding a second major like Digital and Social Media, Visual Communication Design or Global Sustainable Development, preparing you for a dynamic career.
  • The Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation is a challenging degree that will expose you to ideas that have been inspiring people since their inception — in Ancient Greece and Rome, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and the Modern Era. You will have the unique opportunity to directly engage with a carefully curated selection of some of the most influential works in the Western tradition of thought and art.
  • Our Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics provides expertise in three interconnected areas that shape the world around us. With a strong focus on critical thinking, decision-making and analysis of political, philosophical and economic interactions, this degree will prepare you for a career in politics, government, entrepreneurship, international development, public service and many other areas.

The world is yours to discover when you study at UOW.

We encourage you to have an international outlook with overseas study opportunities that include semester exchange and short course programs. If you add a language to your program of study, you'll also have the chance to participate in in-country language programs when travel is permitted. 

If you choose a Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation and receive a UOW Ramsey Scholarship, you will receive a return international airfare for an approved overseas study experience.

Learn more about study overseas >>

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UOW offers a unique opportunity to engage with ideas that have been inspiring people for centuries; works that rose to prominence in Ancient Greece and Rome, the Renaissance, the enlightenment and the Modern Era. Through our Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation, you'll explore some of the most influential works in the Western tradition of thought and art.

You'll benefit from academic mentoring, small class sizes, and the opportunity to access a UOW Ramsay Scholarship of $32,000 per year, for up to five years. Double degree opportunities in complementary fields such as law and politics are also available.

Learn more: Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation >> 

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Research and scholarship underpin our humanities curriculum, and as a UOW student you will have access to contemporary research that is shaping our understanding through interdisciplinary investigation:

  • The Centre for Critical Creative Practice investigates the influence of digital and screen media on culture, and the ways the humanities can respond to global political and environmental change.
  • The Feminist Research Network is an active community of interdisciplinary researchers, promoting research excellence and developing scholars whose work is influenced or inspired by diverse feminisms.
  • The Future of Rights Centre (FoRC), formerly the Centre for Critical Human Rights Research, brings together humanities and social science researchers interested in exploring how past and present understandings of human rights at the global, Asia-Pacific, and local levels will help to inform the future.

Our research students have access to advanced research support from our Graduate Research School, helping to ensure they meet key milestones and meet or exceed international standards.

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You can study the Bachelor of Arts at the following campuses; Bega Valley, Eurobodalla, Southern Highlands, and Wollongong.

The Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation and Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics can be studied at our Wollongong campus.

The Bachelor of International Studies is offered at Wollongong and Liverpool campuses.

Postgraduate research courses are offered at our Wollongong campus.

Please check the course information page for delivery details.

Two students at UOW's Wollongong Campus

Top 150

UOW ranks among the world's top 150 universities for Arts and Humanities.

Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings by subject 2023

Become one of the world's most employable graduates

UOW Humanities graduates have the critical and creative skills that employers seek, such as the ability to think independently and articulate well-formed opinions. These flexible, in-demand skills can open a world of opportunity.

The latest QILT Employer Satisfaction Survey (2021) ranked employers' overall satisfaction with UOW graduates at 91.7% (84.7% national average), placing UOW 1st among all universities nationally.

Here's just some of the careers you could pursue:

  • Advertising executive
  • Archivist
  • Librarian
  • Art historian
  • Curator
  • Arts production manager
  • Business administration manager
  • Consultant
  • Content creator
  • Diplomat
  • Editor
  • Foreign affairs and trade officer
  • Foreign correspondent
  • Policy analyst
  • Heritage specialist
  • Writer and columnist
  • Political representative
  • Publisher
  • Researcher
  • Teacher

Read more: What can I do with my degree?

Meet Rebecca

I learned so much studying at UOW, and I especially value the non-traditional culture of the Uni. I found the place very creative and liberating and many of my lecturers encouraged me not to just study for work but to learn for life. Rebecca Bachelor of Arts (History) - Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Arts). Assistant Curator, Powerhouse Museum

Engage with the classics

Our flagship Liberal Arts degree, the Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation, will offer you the opportunity to explore the changing nature of life in the 21st Century by starting with an understanding of some of the greatest works of literature and art. Intensive academic training is supported by strong mentorship in this unique opportunity for high-achieving students.

Learn more

[Professor Theo Farrell - Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education)] If you become a UOW Ramsey scholar, you'll be among some of the brightest humanities students in Australia.
We've got absolutely fantastic teaching facilities here on campus and you're going to be studying a unique curriculum in a small classroom setting, and this means that you're going to have very close contact with our world-leading academics, and the opportunity to engage in really robust debate with your fellow students.
[Dr Glenda Satne - Senior Lecturer] This program provides our students with a very specific set of skills that allows them to engage with future societies and novel problems. It does this by providing them with close mentorship as well as very intensive academic training, and also the opportunity to engage with a wider global community of liberal arts academics.
[Ines Hipolito - current student] I feel quite excited that I take part of this vast research network, that's quite international, where I get to engage with conferences and events and workshops that we organize here. And I get to do that surrounded by this beautiful campus! 

Critical thought and reason

Study at a university that empowers you to think independently and act with purpose. We encourage critical and creative thinkers to develop informed opinions and reasoning skills that are highly valued in society. Hear from history major Tasman Fitzer and Lecturer Dr Jen Roberts to talk about the flexibility of UOW humanities programs and how you could graduate with the transferable skills preferred by employers.


[Tasman Fitzer – Bachelor of Arts (Honours) student] I love studying arts and humanities because I think there's just so many places you can go with it. I think what I love about it is you know, there's no sort of right and wrong, it's all about questioning and reasoning, and arguing, and researching, and I really enjoy that.

[Dr Jen Roberts, History Lecturer] Our arts and humanities graduates are so well placed to make a meaningful difference in an unstable world.

[Tasman] I think one of the real great benefits of studying in an area like arts and humanities is that it just covers so many different areas of study. I've got a history major; I've done sociology subjects, I've done English Literature subjects, politics subjects, you know, there's so much on offer and you can really have a try of a whole heap of different things before you really sort of focus in on what you find you

[Dr Roberts] I think it's really important for students to have a fair degree of flexibility in selecting their majors and their minors within an arts or humanities degree. UOW has a fantastic range of different subjects that you're able to sort of have a go at. Not everybody is going to be interested in the same areas of inquiry, or disciplines as we call them, and we want students to be able to really test the waters of what they're passionate about, what they're interested in, and what is meaningful for them.

[Tasman] So this year I've had the awesome opportunity to undertake an honours degree which is, you know, a real research-focused degree, and I've really, really enjoyed that. You sort of become a mini expert in a particular area of interest.

[Dr Roberts] Research skills are highly valued by employers and they make you a very flexible person in terms of your career because they are such transferable skills.

[Tasman] The best experience I've had outside the classroom at the university here is being able to study abroad. I've had the opportunity to go and study over in England at Cambridge University, to study history, and that was such a great experience because you know, well it's my area of focus and you know, something I'm familiar with.

[Tasman] It was a slightly different way of doing things you know, they covered different areas that we didn't cover and that's an opportunity that's available to any student studying here, and there's support and grants available for students to do that.

[Dr Roberts] It's just a real privilege to see them graduate from their degree as highly confident, articulate, analytical thinkers that are going to make a really big difference in their communities and in their future career paths.

Study abroad & exchange - the experience of a lifetime

Explore and apply

Expand your horizons. Learn about your study overseas options, destinations, and reasons why you should study overseas with UOW.

Financial support

Combining study and travel is achievable with a number of funding and financial supports available to assist you in studying overseas, including UOW travel grants, Australian government grants, and OS-HELP loans.

Go for it!

If you have ever dreamed of seeing the world and immersing yourself in a new culture, a study overseas program can offer you an amazing educational adventure - and an experience that will last a lifetime.

The best experience I've had outside the classroom at the university here is being able to study abroad. Tasman

Meet Alex

My first lecture in Globalisation of World Politics sparked my interest in politics. Along with a trip to Geneva, this was enough to make me change to a Bachelor of Arts, where I could combine politics and economics and the freedom to question the status quo. Alex Bachelor of Arts (Politics, Economics) Director - National Skills Reform Taskforce Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business

A brighter future starts here

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